December 31, 2013

Misc tips – gardening like a boss

One of the lifetime aspirations is for sims to grow eight different types of plants to perfect quality.  There are the obvious steps to this, including leveling up the gardening skill, fertilizing the plants and starting plants from the higher-quality output of previously grown plants.  But there are a couple other steps that I have my sims take when they are building the perfect garden.


The first and most obvious tip is to leave some room between the plants as you place them in your garden.  Sims won’t walk through plants that are spaced directly next to each other, so plants that are in the middle of clumps like that might wilt and die from neglect.  It doesn’t seem to matter which plants are near each other, there just needs to be enough space for a sim to get in to tend the plants.

I always install sprinklers in my sims’ gardens, and I have the sim with the highest handiness skill upgrade them to auto-water sprinklers.  With the now automatic sprinklers, my gardening sim won’t have to water the plants when she goes out to tend the garden.  Place the sprinklers so that their 5x5 coverage area (which is shown when you’re placing it in buy mode) covers as much of the garden as possible.  The garden shown here is 10x10, so there are four sprinklers.  Besides watering the plants, the sprinklers can also provide some fun as sims play in the spaying water; don’t worry, though, they play carefully enough that they don’t stomp on any of the plants in the garden.

I also always build a fence around my garden and lock the gate to everyone but the sim’s family members.  This will keep the zombies out when they spawn next to the garden on the full moon.  Zombies like to eat harvestable plants whenever they can get to them, and the fence will block them.

Whichever sim is going on adventures should also take some time to harvest the plants that are specific to those locations and then give the produce to the gardener.  With a wider array of plant types, it’s easier to find eight different species to use for your sim’s target perfection count.  Also don’t forget to go to the Fall festival to get some pumpkin to add to your garden.

As your sim’s garden grows higher quality plants, put the surplus produce in the fridge so the chef in your family can use them to make higher quality meals that will keep your sims satisfied longer.

Finally, when your gardener isn’t actively tending the garden, have her learn the fishing skill.  Fish make excellent fertilizer.

Oh, and yes, the seed for the money tree also counts toward the eight different species of plants, so if you find that seed, use it.

An imaginary imaginary friend

So I know that the imaginary friend doll eventually comes alive and is only visible to the child who befriended it, but when the child is still a toddler, it’s still supposed to be visible.


Lexie is getting some quality time with her imaginary friend, but when her father sim reset himself (I still don’t know why he did that), her doll turned invisible.

December 30, 2013

Not quite doing his duty

Jarret wants to be a super lifeguard.  His lifetime wish is to rescue 50 sims.  But he’s not going to do it this way.


Yeah, that’s the “I’m waiting for another sim to move out of my way before I can step forward” pose.  There are two sims in need of rescue but because they’re positioned in the exact location where Jarret needs to be to pass the floatation device to the drowning sim, he route fails and then waits in this pose to see if one of them will move first.

December 29, 2013

Standing at attention?

About half the time that I have my parent sims try to teach their toddler sims to walk, they step back and take this position.


It seems to be a default soft reset pose, and is probably something that the animators start with when they create motions for the game.  It looks like the animator who made the “teach to walk” animations didn’t clean up his work properly before exporting it to the game.  So I’d call this a bug because sims are not generally supposed to take this pose during gameplay.

December 28, 2013

He could use a phone book or two

The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff pack added a bunch of new cars to the game. Some of them were higher-end luxury cars, and others were more everyday cars and roadsters.  This hot rod, however, makes it look like the sim has lost a foot in height.


I think it just looks wrong to be that low in the cab.  How can he see past the hood of the truck?

December 27, 2013

Well, it’s not cooking bacon…

Malissa is pregnant with her first child, but it seems to be going to her head.  When she showered recently, she chose not to put anything on before moving on with the rest of her day.


I guess this way she won’t get any stains on her clothes when her elixir ingredients splatter.

December 26, 2013


NPC sims always seem to pick the most inappropriate clothing, like Holly Alto did for going out and making snow angels…


Well, at least she’s happy.

December 23, 2013

This ghost might slip

My sim went to the graveyard late one winter night recently.  After spending some time skating around on the pond then chatting with another visitor, this ghost appeared and walked out onto the ice.


He walked very carefully across the ice as if he would slip and fall.  Now, ghosts float around the sim world everywhere else, why don’t they float across frozen ponds?

December 22, 2013

Preserving the bunny

It seems that the freezer bunny pops up in the most unusual places these days…


Earlier today I found two of them in a jar on the counter at Aleister’s.

December 20, 2013

Sims and their costumes

It seems like the most common costumes that sims choose for costume parties are either the tiger or the hot dog.  At my sim’s most recent costume party, she went in a white formal dress with some facial makeup (I’m guessing that this costume represents a good witch or something of the sort), while another guest showed up in a costume I hadn’t seen before.


He’s a cow plant!

December 19, 2013

Misc tip – get started with cooking

When sims are just starting out, one of the first skills that I usually have them work on is cooking.  Sims with no cooking skill are more likely to start a fire when they use the stove (unless they’re using a stove that has been upgraded to fireproof or someone in the family has the fireproof household lifetime reward), so it’s best to start sims either reading the beginning cooking skill book, or by practicing making foods that don’t require the stove.


Sims can usually prepare autumn salads or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at lunch or dinner,  Since the sim won’t use the stove to prepare it, there is no chance of starting a fire while making these meals.  If you’ve got World Adventures installed, you might see the option to prepare sushi, another dish that doesn’t require use of the stove (the cooked rice they use must be leftover from previous meals).

December 15, 2013

Misc tip: turn on the radio

When you direct your sims to work on skill building, have them do it in a room that has a radio.  Then turn the radio on.

In the martial arts academy in Shang Simla, there’s a stereo in the upstairs workout room, so I’ll usually send my sims there to get started building this skill.


Sims that are in a room with music playing get a positive Enjoying Music moodlet to go along with whatever they are doing at the time.


Setting the radio to my sim’s favorite channel will usually increase the moodlet’s effect, and the sim’s preference will often dictate what channel the radio is set to when she turns on the radio autonomously.

December 5, 2013

Building up the Martial Arts skill

Sims that go on adventures to Shang Simla, Champs Les Sims or Al Simhara will need to level up their martial arts skill if they ever hope to complete the more difficult tombs.  In fact, there are a couple of quests in Shang Simla that flat out require specific skill levels before your sim can complete them.  So, when you send your sim there, buy both a board breaker and a training dummy from the general store.  These two items will be placed in your family (build mode) inventory; when your sim gets home, place them on your lot and practice with them.

You’ll have to start with the training dummy first, because the board breaker requires at least skill level 2 before your sim will be able to use it.  When I train my sims, I have them switch to the board breaker as soon as possible because there are more wish opportunities for breaking specific numbers of boards, and these are generally quicker to achieve than the skill level wish opportunities.  But, don’t discount the skill opportunities because there is nothing to prevent you from achieving both types of opportunities with the board breaker.

There are five types of boards your sims can use on the board breaker.  In increasing order of difficulty, they are: foam board, balsa wood board, oak board, thin stone board and space rock block.  One your sim is able to use the board breaker by reaching level 2 with the training dummy, your sim can break the foam board.  For each of the first four board types, sims start with one board.  As they become more skilled at breaking that type of board, they will add one more board to the stack on the board breaker for each attempt.  The maximum number of boards to be broken at any one time is five.  Although the number of boards broken may vary, a sim will always start with one until that level of board breaking is mastered.  You cannot direct your sim to break any specific number of boards at a time, your sim will automatically place the maximum that his current skill level will allow.

When I have my sims use the board breaker, I will usually direct them to increase the difficulty by changing board types as they level up the Martial Arts skill itself.  Usually your sim will be able to break a space rock block at martial arts level 9.  Once your sim can do so, switch to the space rock.  Your sim will often break a gem out of the space rock that can be collected like any other gem in the world.


The gems that appear from this interaction can be any gem type that is available, from the most basic quartz to the extremely rare tiberium.

Increasing Martial Arts skill will also increase the Athletic skill at the same time.  Although your sim doesn’t need any specific athletic level to begin training, building athletic skill first can help speed up the martial arts skill building.

December 4, 2013

Gem jumble

Whenever I have my sim cut more than one gem at a time with the gem cutting machine, the pile that she drops into the hopper just doesn’t quite look right.


It doesn’t matter what kind of gem it is or what cut she chooses, the gem pile always looks like this jumbled mess.  The only time that the gem looks right when she’s adding it to the hopper is when she’s only cutting one gem.  So this bonk is definitely a bug, but unfortunately it isn’t a bug that I can sell at the science lab for extra cash.

December 1, 2013

A new kind of mystery machine

When I send my sims to adventure locations, I always try to ensure that they bring a car with them to get around more quickly than the bicycles or scooters that they get there by default.  But if my sim has earned enough lifetime happiness points for it, I will have them buy the Motive Mobile van and set that as their default car.  The advantage, of course, is that sitting in it will instantly fulfill all of a sim’s needs bars, so I don’t have to have them return to base camp to sleep and wash up between tomb explorations.

But there’s one spot in Shang Simla where driving the Motive Mobile is a little more difficult than I’ve seen at any other location.  When my sim drives this vehicle up the hill to the main residential area, she will sometimes pop out the side of the van.


Something just isn’t right with this mystery machine, and it’s not just that Casey Kasem isn’t doing Shaggy’s voice any more…

November 30, 2013

There are strange things happening in Al Simhara

So last week, I wrote about the reintroduction of aliens from the Sims 3 Seasons (yes, I know I originally noted that it was the Supernatural expansion pack; whoops!).  I mentioned then that the abduction wasn’t the only way to meet an alien.  Sometimes, aliens will randomly visit your sim’s active town, and they’ll even visit towns where your sim is traveling, like this alien who ran past my sim in Al Simhara this week.


When aliens are out and about in the town, you can usually direct your sim to interact with them and even go so far as to befriend them and marry them into your sim family, but that’s a story for another day.

November 29, 2013

This is my formalwear outfit

When I play The Sims, it’s pretty rare that my view is from above looking down on my sims.  I’m always looking around at the background to see what the townies are doing because sometimes they do funny stuff on their own.  This townie thought it would be a good idea to wear the beekeeping hat and veil out to a fancy dinner as part of his formalwear outfit.


The emblem on his coat also reminds me of the secret society emblem from the Sims 2 University expansion pack.  Might they be making inroads into my current sim lives?

November 23, 2013

To the moon, Alice!

In The Sims 2, sims who used the telescope to explore the sky would sometimes find that they had summoned visitors.  In The Sims 3, we had to wait until the addition of the Supernatural Seasons expansion pack to get extraterrestrial visitors back into the game.  But the aliens that were added with this pack were much more interactive than those in The Sims 2.  For one thing, the aliens in Supernatural could become playable sims.

There are a few ways to meet and interact with aliens.  The first and most obvious is to wait for your sim to see mysterious lights in the sky just above her.  The sim will be so intrigued by the lights that she will cancel all interactions and go to investigate the mysterious lights.


This interaction will often occur at night, but I’ve seen it happen at all times of the sim day.  It also doesn’t seem to matter if sims are indoors or not.  When this interaction appears, the sim will go outside and stand under the lights looking up at them for a couple sim minutes.


If you let the interaction continue, the lights will eventually dissolve and you’ll see a spinning alien craft and its controller appear and the alien will use an antigravity beam to lift your sim off the ground and into the ship.


After about a sim half hour, the alien ship will return, land on the street near where the abduction occurred and your sim and the alien will both appear on the sidewalk.


When the sim is returned, there aren’t a whole lot of interactions that she can perform with the alien right then.  You might be able to have her heckle the alien if you’ve got the Showtime expansion pack installed, but the alien is almost immediately running back to the ship to return to space.  Female sims don’t get a whole lot out of alien abductions other than the negative Abducted moodlet.


If it was a male sim who was abducted, he will soon go through the stages of sim pregnancy and an alien baby will be added to your sim family (I don’t have screenshots of this right now, but I’ll post them as soon as I get them).

This isn’t the only way for a sim to encounter an alien, and there’s a lot more to tell about aliens once they join your family as playable sims, but if I told you everything about that now, I wouldn’t have anything to post about later.  So, watch this blog for more soon.  Besides, it’s time for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, and I’ve got other aliens to watch for a little bit.

November 22, 2013

Fun with translators

I recently ran across a page of mangled translations of Garfield cartoons.  The cartoon dialogue was translated from English to Chinese and back to English, and as you might expect, the mechanical translations didn’t always choose the best words or phrasing in the results.  So I wondered, what would one of my posts on this blog sound like if it was translated similarly.  I grabbed the text from a recent post about Zombies and tried it.  To ensure that I would get interesting results, I used Bing to translate from English to the obfuscation language and then Google to translate it back to English

I purposely chose obfuscation languages that used different symbols for the text rather than the alphabet that English uses (I didn’t try all of them, so there may be more hilarious translations out there).  Interestingly, the language options that I thought would mangle the text the most turned out to be pretty close to correct, but each iteration had its own quirks with changing the context and adding words (Bernardo!).  Here are a few translation results…

English → Chinese (traditional) → English

They sometimes appear as zombies, where they stuck their places. It seems that they are closest to programming on active sim card outside the building site appears. When I sims Shang Simla, the full moon occurs when the camp although I Sims, zombies are often also appear in this patch just behind the kitchen on the ground.

The trouble is that only a few square zombie land and quickly move between routing failures with such frustration. Fix it, do not edit much to offer from this position, the only way to escape routes the call to reset him back to his house a lot of zombie sim card.

English → Arabic → English

Sometimes when the zombies show up, they appear in places where they trap themselves. It seems that they are programmed to appear immediately outside the building closest to the sim card active. When my sims at the "Simla Shang" and the moon is happening while my sims at the base camp, often appear on a patch zombies ground just behind the kitchen.

The problem is that a zombie can only move between a few squares of land, and you will quickly get frustrated with the failure of such a path. Is the only way to fix it, less than editing a lot to provide escape route from this place, reset the handsome coma teleports back to his home a lot.

English → Hebrew → English

Sometimes they are when zombies appear, emerge in places where they trap themselves. It seems that they are programmed to appear instead outside the building closest to the active sim. When my sims are in Shang Simla and full moon occurs while my Sims at Base Camp, zombies frequently appear on the amendment of the land just behind the kitchen.

The problem is that the zombie can only move between several plots of land frustrated quickly with such a track failure. The only way to fix it, before making the pitch to provide an escape route from this location, is to reset the sim-zombie which teleports him back to his home field.

English → Korean → English

Sometimes the place where they appeared in their own trap when the zombies appear. They are located outside of the building closest to the active sim seems to appear in the program. Shang Sim La in the My Sims My Sims that occur during the full moon in the base camp, the kitchen just behind the Zombies often appears on a piece of cloth on the ground.

The problem of land in square zombie can move quickly between the gay will get the same path failure and frustration. Edit this location to provide an escape route from the many short, it's the only way to solve any teleport him back to his house to reset the sim many zombies.

English → Thai → English

They were born in a place where they trap themselves sometimes when zombies appear to look like they were programmed to appear on the outside of the building adjacent to the sim active when Sims are in my city . the Plaza Hotel. And the full moon that occurs while my Sims Base Camp . Zombies will frequently appear in patches of the background star .

The problem is, the zombies can move only a few square acres . And would have been disappointed with the failure so quickly. The only way to fix it. Lack of editing so many escape routes from this is the setting which sim zombie teleports him back to his home lot .

English → Vietnamese → English

Sometimes they appear as zombies, appearing where they trap themselves. It seems that we are programmed to appear on the outside of the building location that is closest to the active sim. When my sims are in love Simla and full moon occurred while my sims at base camp, zombie will usually appear on the patch of land behind the kitchen.

The problem is that zombies can only move between a few squares of land and will get frustrated quickly with a failure like this route. The only way to fix it, short of editing a lot to offer escape routes from this position, is to reset the sim zombie he moved back to his home much.

English → Klingon → English

[NOTE: Although I can use Bing to reveal the post in its original Klingon, Google translate does not currently have an option to translate Klingon, so I used Bing to translate it back to English]

Sometimes when they emerge, the zombies escape occurs where in the trap. many of them escape program is Outside the building earlier in the day, he is almost chado'maq sim. throughout the whole sims shang simla and handle with the left hand, blind moon base sims often only zombies escape kitchen News patch.

You will only be able to explore the management caused a few of the square and managed to Get frustrated quickly, like a zombie for the bastard Way lost. [Short of the big bang being the way to escape from the duhiv location when the tread will only reset editing as, he teleports Back zombie sim dacheg home catastrophe worshipped him BERNARDO.

November 21, 2013

The best night of their lives so far…

As teen sims age closer to their young adult birthday, they have the opportunity to attend one of the most anticipated rituals for their age group, senior prom.  They will get to go assuming that the Sims 3 Generations expansion pack is installed, of course.

A couple sim days before their last teen day, teen sims will often look forward to attending prom.  You may see a wish pop up that they want to attend.


This is a fairly easy wish to grant, it just takes a little time.  Usually about the same time as this wish appears, there will be a message telling you when prom will occur.  In this case, my teen sim got the wish to attend prom on Monday and the game notice told me that prom was scheduled for Thursday.  Now is the time that you want to get your teen sims’ formalwear outfits planned and find a date for your sims.

A date for prom isn’t mandatory, but when a sim attends with a date, especially one she is good friends with, she is much more likely to have a good time while at the prom.  Sometimes your sim will get a secret admirer note from another teen sim, so use that as an indication of which other teen sim to pursue for a date.  The next time your sim meets him, check the romantic interactions for the interaction to ask the sim to prom.


As with all the other romantic interactions in the game, either gender can initiate this interaction, and there is also no restriction requiring that prom dates be of the opposite gender.  Sims don’t judge, they go with it.  Once your teen sim has asked another teen sim to the prom, she will usually get the wish to attend prom with that sim.  The disadvantage here is that if you promise this wish along with the previous wish to attend prom, you now have two wish slots occupied; depending on how much else you direct your sim to do, this could restrict how many more lifetime reward points she is able to earn.

When prom day arrives, the game will display a notice about three hours before your sims’ ride arrives.  This is your last chance to make final adjustments to your sims’ formalwear.  Sims go to prom in style, renting a limousine for the ride to school, and if your sim has a date to the prom, they will usually ride together.

In my case, prom day coincided with Snowflake Day, which is why my sim and her date are dressed in their cold weather clothing, but it also looks like someone left the sunroof open in the limo.  Usually this will be the first time that your teen sims have ridden in a limo so they will have that memory pop up as well.  The limo behaves exactly like the daily school bus and takes your sim and her date to the school to attend prom.


When your sim arrives at the school and enters it to attend the prom, you will see a new memory and if you want, you can share the memory online right away.  I’m a little split on whether or not to share too many memories.  On one hand, there is a badge that you can earn for your SimPage on for sharing memories, but how many memories can you share before your player wall makes it look like you’re not getting anything done except playing the Sims?  This is a question that each individual simmer should ask himself; I will usually only share the most significant memories such as when lifetime wishes are achieved.

Anyway, back to the prom.  Depending on your sim’s relationship with her date and her mood when she leaves for prom, there are a number of different possible messages and outcomes from attendance.  In my recent game, Stacy’s date decided now was the time to try to advance their relationship beyond just being friends…



Things were going so well for Stacy and Peanut that she was even selected as prom queen!


Naturally, being chosen as prom queen added a hefty reward moodlet as well…


Like all things, prom comes to an end at 10:00pm sim time.  Well behaved teen sims are advised to head straight home after the dance.


The message notes that there is a photo or two in my sims’ inventory, but I didn’t see any this time.  Usually, there will be a photo of your sim and her date both in their formalwear, in poses similar to the greeting card photos that they can get at the seasonal fairs or at City Hall (if you have the Seasons expansion pack installed).  My sim didn’t have a photo from prom, but she did have another souvenir.  She got to keep the crown she received as prom queen.


So is it worthwhile to send your teen sims to the prom?  It can be.  The experience I showed here isn’t always going to grant your sims the same rewards.  But no matter what happens, your sims will have some new memories and could come away from it with more lifetime happiness points.

November 20, 2013

Bonehilda isn’t for every sim

So if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you should know by now that I like to get a Bonehilda coffin for my sims whenever possible.  Bonehilda originally appeared in the Sims 2 Makin’ Magic expansion pack, and she was brought to the Sims 3 with the Supernatural expansion pack.

She is an almost do-everything maid that doesn’t need to be fed or paid and she doesn’t try to steal anything from your sims if you don’t pay her.  Bonehilda cleans up dishes, rakes leaves (if you’ve got the Seasons expansion pack installed), changes diapers, puts away leftovers, puts away books, repairs broken items around the house and will even try to put out fires.  One thing I’ve noticed that she won’t do is laundry (which was added with the Ambitions expansion pack and again with University Life).

Bonehilda can be a bit of a troublemaker, kicking over gnomes or even brushing her teeth when she doesn’t have any cleaning or repairing to do.  But with all the good that she does for just the one-time purchase price of her coffin, Bonehilda is not always the best fit for a sim household.


Sims who are easily frightened will freak out when they see her.  During these freakouts, sims cancel all other actions and run away screaming.  If they don’t run far enough and can still see Bonehilda, they will again cancel all actions and run screaming.

There are a few solutions to the freakout problem, including the Midlife Crisis lifetime reward which will let you pick new traits for your sim.  If you don’t want to change your sim’s traits, it can be tricky, but your sims can time Bonehilda’s awakenings and dismissals to those parts of the day when the troubled sims are away from the house.  However, the simplest solution for sims who are too afraid of Bonehilda is to replace her with an executive butler.  The butler can do everything Bonehilda does and he has his own needs, but that’s a discussion for another time.

November 19, 2013

Zombies – they need to go too…

So I was following my adventuring sim in Al Simhara this week.  The moon turned full while she was there and, sure enough, a zombie appeared right next to my sim as she was getting into her tent for the night.  Since my sim was not available for a zombie attack, the zombie, a townie named Na’im Tut who was apparently an acrobat (thank you, Sims 3 Showtime expansion pack!), shambled around the building at the base camp and did this:


So even though mummies don’t have to go, I guess that becoming a zombie doesn’t remove the bladder need.

November 18, 2013

How to disarm traps with yoga

Once in a while, okay more than that but not every time, when a sim tries to perform an action, she will reach to a location that is different from where the item appears on the screen.  Today’s example is from one of the tombs in Al Simhara.  Stacy needed to disarm a trap but she didn’t reach into the nearest large hole of the trap like usual.


Maybe she needed to remove the pressure plate that would set off the trap?  At least she’s not standing on it before trying to disarm it.

November 17, 2013

Do ghosts ever get allergies?

My sim was at Aleister’s Elixirs and Sundries recently to use the gem cutting machine to avoid having to pay for getting the gems cut (see my previous post about this tool for more information).  While Stacy was working the gem cutter, a couple other sims were making some noise around the corner.


It’s one thing when two normal sims are performing romantic interactions, it’s an entirely different thing when one of them is a ghost.  Both of the sims here are NPCs; the gentleman just wanted to give the ghost some flowers.  Hmmm…  I know that the gold ghost with floating stars is created from death by transmutation, but what do the pink flowers mean again?

November 16, 2013

A road to nowhere

Every time I send my sims to Champs Les Sims, I see a bonk that was left there by the team that created the World Adventures expansion pack.


I always wonder how the dev team missed this little piece of road that sort of goes up the side of a hill.  It’s not something that’s hard to spot; it is even visible in map view.  I guess someone just got lazy when reviewing the world for beta testing before the expansion was released.

Since the misplaced road segment isn’t connected to anything, my sims never use it autonomously to route around the world.  I’m tempted to go into edit world and put a monument on it of some kind.

November 15, 2013

Teeth are the only bones that show

Every time I see Bonehilda come out of her coffin, songs about skeletons and bones fill my head.  There’s one song that is often associated with various steampunk shows that I listen to that has the refrain “teeth are the only bones that show.”  Bonehilda must have that in mind today because I caught her at a rather banal activity in the bathroom…


Yup, she decided that she needed to brush her teeth.  What I wonder, however, is where is she getting the moisture to make the suds from the toothpaste?

November 14, 2013

Zombies are stupid

Sometimes when zombies appear, they emerge in places where they trap themselves.  It seems that they are programmed to appear on the spot outside the building that is closest to the active sim.  When my sims are in Shang Simla and a full moon occurs while my sims are at the base camp, zombies will often appear on the patch of ground just behind the kitchen.


The trouble is that the zombie can only move between a few squares of land and will get frustrated quickly with a route fail like this.  The only way to fix it, short of editing the lot to provide an escape route from this location, is to reset the zombie sim which teleports him back to his home lot.

November 13, 2013

Avoiding the Soaked moodlet at dive wells

There are times while exploring a tomb when you do want your sim to have the Soaked moodlet – for example, just before trying to cross a fire trap.  However, since this moodlet subtracts from your sim’s current happiness value, it is better to avoid it when you don’t need it.  So when you need to explore a dive well, a quick change of clothes is in order.


When your sim is dressed in swimwear, exploring a dive well will not give your sim the Soaked moodlet.  She will emerge from the dive well fully dried off.  Changing to swimwear before a dive is just one quick step, and if you forget, have your sim change clothes after emerging from the dive well and the Soaked moodlet will disappear after she puts on the dry clothes.  How those clothes in her exceedingly tiny pocket (while in swimwear) stay dry while she’s underwater in the dive well or where the invisible magic towel comes from and goes to after swimming remains a mystery.

November 12, 2013

Bad boys… and girls…

One new set of interactions added with the Generations expansion pack are pranks.  Pranks can be played by teens on various objects including chairs, sofas, loveseats, sinks, showers, baths and toilets.  Booby traps can even be set against specific sims, depending on the trap selections.  Once a prank is staged, the game shows a glowing orange/red dot under the booby trapped item.


In the case of this screenshot, the teen sim placed a whoopie cushion on the left side of the loveseat.  Rebellious teens or teens who are in the midst of a mood swing are more likely to have the desire to pull pranks and if you’ve got free will turned on, they are likely to set booby traps on their own, especially if they’re alone.  The victims of the pranks will get different moodlets depending on the severity of the prank, the sims’ moods upon falling into the trap and the sims’ relationships with the teens in the household.  It will often result in one or more negative moodlets for the victim.


Here, the adult sim of the household sat on the chair where the whoopie cushion was staged, resulting in a 1-hour long Pranked moodlet and a 3-hour long Embarrassed moodlet.  This time the victim sim did not see who set the prank, so he looked around the room angrily for a moment and then stayed seated to read his book.

Be careful when you have teen sims set booby traps.  If an adult sim sees a teen sim setting a trap, it could lead to a scolding from the adult sim, which would reduce their relationship points as well as give them both negative moodlets (and the booby trap itself will not be set).  But rebellious teen sims can gain positive moodlets from successful pranks, and with practice, they become better at setting traps and are caught less often.

November 11, 2013

A lunch fit for a sim

grilled-cheese-irlOver the last couple weeks I’ve found myself awfully busy.  I’ve been on a number of photoshoots so between travel to the shoot, doing the shoot and then editing, project delivery and accounting after the shoot, I haven’t had a lot of sim time.  Things have calmed a little bit, so as I prepare lunch, I’m looking to finish the last of the projects and get back to simming for at least part of the day today.

But there is one lunch that stands out for me as a simmer: grilled cheese!  I’m a bit of a foodie, so my grilled cheese has a few extra steps.  First, my doctor told me to follow a gluten-free diet (for me it’s not just a fad; we have a family history of gluten intolerance), so I make my own bread.  I use Pamela’s gluten-free bread mix but substitute about 1 tablespoon with grapeseed flour (I order a few varieties from Apres Vin).  The grapeseed flour adds a slight purple tint to the baked bread but it’s a wonderful flavor boost.  I use a breadmaker to mix and bake the bread, which is why the bread shown in the photo has that little cutout at the bottom. 

For the sandwich I use a mix of cheeses, usually a sharp cheddar and a jack or Swiss, that I grate in large strips.  I add a little mustard to the cheese then a couple slices of sandwich meat, usually smoked ham (my favorite meats right now are Hormel’s Natural Choice brand), but here I’m using turkey.  I heat the sandwich on a cast-iron griddle on my stovetop; my griddle was made by Lodge and the other side has a grill pattern for meats.  While the first side of my sandwich is browning and the cheese begins to melt, I press down on the sandwich with a bacon weight (something like this one) then wait a few minutes.  I drizzle a little olive oil on the top slice of bread and then flip the sandwich to brown the other side.  It takes about 10 minutes to prepare (after waiting a few hours for the breadmaker to finish and for the bread to cool a little), and the only thing missing is a bowl of tomato soup.  And yes, I normally make two, because who can stop at just one?


November 5, 2013

Arrggghhh!!!!!1! I can’t move in a sim!

I’ve been having this issue for a while now but it’s been awfully frustrating, especially now when I actually have some time to sit down and play again.  I created a new sim to try a few things that I hadn’t done yet and got her a house in her base neighborhood.  Her lifetime desire is to be a super spy, so since I have University Life installed, one of the first tasks I have her do is to enroll in university in the Technology major.  I get her to the university town and select the sorority house for her residence and hit the checkmark to begin, and wait…  and wait…  and wait…  and wait…


For some unknown reason, the game never proceeds from this point.  I’ve tried it with mods removed, with custom content disabled, with the movein mods installed, nothing seems to work.  The only time I can get a sim to university is if I send a sim who was born in the town I was playing.  I don’t have time for that!

I’ve found also that I can’t use the “Move in family” option from the game setup either as I get the same freeze.  Something is wrong in Denmark, Louie.

October 30, 2013

Misc tip – watch for store item discounts

There are a lot of items available from the Sims 3 store for various amounts of SimPoints.  But did you know that some items are available for free?

Most weekends, there are often two buy mode items that are discounted to 0 SimPoints for Saturday and Sunday sales.  Keep an eye on the official Sims 3 website for announcements of free items, but also watch for the little discount tag while you’re in build, buy or create-a-sim modes within the game (assuming that you are logged in to your Sims 3 account and have a decent internet connection).


When you click on an item in one of these modes that is free, it will download to your game and automatically install in your available items and you now have that item and can keep it as long as you keep the game.  The screenshot above shows me downloading the hairstyle that I found for 0 SimPoints this week.  I also found a couple of clothing items and two buy mode items were marked down this week.

However, don’t count on the 0 SimPoint deals to last long.  Download them when you see them because they may only be available on the day that you see them.

October 29, 2013

Minigame added with the recent update

A while ago, I posted about the recent update that was released just before Into The Future.  In addition to the bugfixes that were included in the update, we also now have a hidden object minigame that will appear when sim neighborhoods are loading.  Even though the background on the minigame is the blue beehive background that was added with Into The Future, you don’t need the expansion pack to play the minigame.


The minigame is a screenshot highlighting a bunch of items and sims from an expansion pack, a stuff pack or a set available in the store, and below the progress bar, it will ask you to “Find the …” with the official name of an item that appears in the screenshot.  And in case you don’t recognize where the content being shown comes from, there is a handy icon in the lower right corner so you know what to buy to add the content to your game.  Finding these items is usually pretty simple, as there is usually only one of any type of object in the screenshot (for example, there is usually only one kind of dining table visible).  The only issue that I’ve found with this minigame is the lag that will sometimes occur because the computer is busy loading the full game in the background, and this is noted at the bottom of the screenshot.

The footnote on the screenshot also says you can turn off the minigame in the options panel if you want.  The option is pretty easy to find on the general settings tab.


I’ve left the setting turned on for my game, at least right now, because it not only makes the loading time less boring, but playing the minigame will reward my sims with some extra lifetime happiness points based on the number of objects that I was able to correctly identify and the speed with which I clicked on them.  In my simming this week, I’ve usually gained my sims about 500-700 extra lifetime happiness points with each loading screen, and since I send my sims travelling a lot, I’ve had many opportunities to play the minigame.

The lifetime happiness points that you earn playing this minigame will be split among all your active sims once the game loads.  It’s great when you’ve only got one sim, but larger families might not see as much of a benefit right away from this minigame.